Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reading - A Quiz Thing

Snagged from Roger and T&C:

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?

I don't remember learning to read, per se, because it happened very early on, via my mother. I could read before I went to kindergarten, I know that much; my parents have often told the tale of how my kindergarten teacher was kind of dumb and didn't even realize how it was that I was apparently shouting out the directions to the assignments before she could read them to us. I have no memory of doing that.

2. What do you find most challenging to read?

Academic writing, the real dry and scholarly stuff. Especially books that are doctoral theses reworking into book-form. From my college years, I loved my philosophy courses, but I had a terrible time with Existentialism; every one of the texts we read had me thinking, "Ye Gods, somebody open a window!"

3. What are your library habits?

Thursday night is Library night. We go there, get books and a movie or two and maybe a few magazines, and then stop at 7-11 on the way home for Big Gulps and a Slurpee.

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?

I have become more and more militant about the value of libraries. To reiterate something I often say in this space, I can't understand people who refuse to use libraries because "they like to own their books". Even before the price of gas started shooting through the roof, the notion that my reading should be limited by my paycheck or credit limit bugged the hell out of me.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life?

Well, there's the standard "Hey, I should check that out" when some blogger I read strongly recommends a book. Here's a recent example of such; I have that book waiting for me at the library. There is also the "Hey, this blogger I read has written a book!" factor; Alex Ross is a prime example of that.

Setting aside specific titles, I do find that a lot of times I read the blogs that I frequent most often and come away thinking, "Wow, I wish I was as well-read as that blogger." This has the effect of fueling my desire to read more.

6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?

Hard to say. I don't read everything I check out of the library, since a lot of it comes due before I can get to it. As noted above, money's always an issue, so I have to be pretty careful about what I buy. I don't use Amazon as much as I used to, although I do buy from them several times a year. For used books, I like eBay, although there are several used bookstores around the Southtowns region that I really need to scope out one of these days. And there's always the quarterly library used book sale, which is always a source of treasure.

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog?

I don't know, really -- maybe ten percent of books I read don't get mentioned here, for whatever reasons may apply. It sometimes takes me a while to write about a book I read. (There are also the reviews I write for GMR.)

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dog-earing pages? Reading in the bath?

If they buy the book, they can do whatever they want with it! As media go, paper is pretty forgiving, much moreso than any e-gadget invented yet, which is why I have no great fear that paper books are going away anytime soon.

But I can't abide people who write or underline or highlight in library books, or people who rip articles or recipes they want out of the magazines, and the like. If it's not your book, treat it like it's not your book.

Ultimately, the worst abuse a book can receive is to go unread. I've got shelves upon shelves of books being mistreated thusly myself, so I can't cast the first stone on that basis.

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work?

Yes, at breaks and at lunch. Never while I'm "on the clock". When I'm on the clock, I'm the very model of a productive maintenance guy. Yesiree Bob!

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?

I think of what they've told me they like in the past, and if I identify a book that I think may line up with their tastes as I know them, I give it as a gift. I tend to only give books that I have personally read; it kind of seems rude to me to give someone a copy of a book that may or may not be Teh Suck. Now, an exception to this might be if I find some kind of unique or special edition of a book by a friend's favorite author; that I might give them, regardless of whether I've read them or not.

What I don't do, regarding books as gifts, is hector my friends after I've given them the book as to whether they read it or if they liked it or if they want to talk about their favorite characters. That seems rude to me, and I don't do it. I'd love to hear a friend tell me that the book I gave them is the best thing ever, but there's no guarantee that they'll like it, and really, nobody likes to be hectored over their opinion of a gift.

This is a tag-free quiz, by the way. Grab and go!

1 comment:

Sean Meade said...

yeah, i had the distinct feeling those Existentialists were just making things up, so, at some point, i just ran with it ;-)